DUALITIES OR THE ESSENCE OF INCORPORATION is a collective exhibition that gathers five artistic propositions which start from paintwork to the building of bidimensional reading objects, yet parasensorial, which incorporate other subjects, directly or indirectly, creating a game of dual effect that leads us to question concepts such as figuration and abstraction, barroque and minimal, sound and silence, eroticism and naive. Maintaining the premise of a selection of multigenerational authors, this exhibition by zet gallery is a comeback to paintwork (ready made historicist) and to the questioning of the expo-graphic space as a white cube for building dreams. Maria João Oliveira (born 1946), André Lemos Pinto (born 1976), Fátima Santos (born 1983), Alexandre Coxo (born 1987) and Sofia Leitão & Henry Nesbitt (born 1971 & born 1969) share geometrisation in the works they create (in) space as they start from it. They are different. They understand each other. They incorporate each other. They bring back to us the calm of the mid-seasons because only Art is able to go against time and deceive space..
The work of genius may be music, philosophy, painting, or poetry; it is nothing for use or profit. To be useless and unprofitable is one of the characteristics of works of genius; it is their patent of nobility. All other human works exist only for the maintenance and relief of our existence; only those here discussed do not; they alone exist for their own sake, and are to be regarded in this sense as the flower… of existence. Our heart is therefore gladdened at the enjoyment of them, for we rise out of the heavy earthly atmosphere of need and want.¹
DUALITIES OR THE ESSENCE OF INCORPORATION is a collective exhibition which thus questions the boundaries and the possibilities of paintwork, as well as the need to categorize the artistic object which, besides being unnecessary, seems difficult to me. In fact, considering a training based on History of Art, I have serious doubts that the rating which marks 20th century’s artistic production helps the non-specialised viewer to understand, value and appreciate aesthetically works of art which the history books tend to close in ideas, instead of opening up in terms of the reading possibilities that exist inside each person’s sensitive sphere. It is a fact that according to the analysis of the most recent artistic production, and even of the one belonging to the entire 20th century, we still don’t possess the space and time distance necessary to judge critically propositions of plastic and visual creation which are constantly submitted to revision, self-questioning, recovery of artists and movements which, in their time, were unappreciated², adding to all of this the maintenance of references aged one hundred years old in avant-garde revisitings but that respect theoretically and poetically former ideas, as it is here proposed. In this sense and in conclusion, in this ready made historicist of the return to paintwork (in zet gallery’s programme) we let our and the artists’ doubts enter, denying inspiration as the only and last haven and upholding a group of persistent workers, magicians of colour and shape who, until 10th November, are our music.
Inspiration respects us when we’re brave, when we take a chance, and when we make effort to bring our expressions into shape and form. We can trust that when we do, the strength of our idea-to-form muscles will build and grow and make us strong as oxen.³
Helena Mendes Pereira
zet gallery’s chief curator
¹SCHOPENHAUER, Arthur – The World as Will and Representation. Quoted in DANTO, Arthur C. – After the end of Art: contemporary art and the pale of History. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1997. Page 81.
²CUEVAS, F. Javier Panera – “Hacia una caracterización del arte contemporáneo?” In MIR, C. Lidón Beltrán (ed.) – Educación como Mediación en Centros de Arte Contemporáneo. Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca, 2005. Page 48.
³NAGLER, JoAnneh – How to Be an Artist Without Losing Your Mind, Your Shirt, or Your Creative Compass. New York: The Countrymann Press, 2016. Page 98.